fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: ECONOMIC COMMUNITY OF WEST AFRICAN STATES <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 2021 16:55:11 +0100
Subject: ATTENTION BENEFICIARY
This letter is to inform you that during the last summit of all the
member countries of West African States, all inheritance fund files
where presented for verification for out going funds living the
shores of Africa to America, Asia, Europe and Australia and all the
Economic team of the ECOWAS discovered that you are among the
approved beneficiaries that has not received their funds in full
payment or any part payment since you have been making efforts to have
the approved sum in your bank account or by cash delivery. We also
discovered that you are still struggling to have this fund but due to
too many hands and selfish bank officials and agencies with
interference of other spies trying to take undue advantage over you
all efforts by you had remained very futile, and it was on this note
that this Economic and reformation team unanimously endorsed that you
will receive only a part payment of Five Million Five Hundred Thousand
United States Dollars and promised to continue with your payment till
the full inheritance fund, winnings related to Africa will be fully
claimed by you as you will be legally guided by our few selected
remembers under the watch Leadership of the Economic Community of
West African States.
We are sorry for all the past delays and request for immediate
response to be issued a guideline for quick release of the part
payment in to your bank account or by international ATM card credited
with the inheritance sum.
Your current personal details are here by requested and will be
confidentially managed for the purpose and the efficient communication
with you till you confirm the total receipt of your approved fund.
Dr.Mohamed Ibn Chambas
FOR ECOWAS AND UNOWAS.